Engaging in meaningful and spiritual conversations with those who don’t know Christ seems terribly daunting for many of us. While we have a deep desire to see our friends, families, and co-workers come into relationship with Jesus, we’re often left not really knowing where to begin.
An amazing truth the Lord has shown me, as we go out intentionally to share Christ, is that people are more open to Jesus than many of us realize. We often feel like, if we engage in a spiritual conversation with someone, they’re not going to be interested, and it’ll probably end up in a fight. Maybe it’s the way we interact on social media that gives us this idea, but nonetheless, I don’t believe it’s the reality as the Holy Spirit is working on people’s hearts every moment of everyday. I sincerely believe Jesus’ words about the harvest being plentiful ring out as much today as they did when He spoke them a couple thousand years ago. It’s not a harvest problem, it’s a laborer problem. The church, myself included, has not done a great job modeling what this practically looks like, so we’re left unprepared and unsure about how to go about it.
One very simple way we engage students at MTSU and Belmont is with “Free Prayer” signs. We find areas students gather, or walk to class, and hold up cardboard signs that say “Free Prayer.” I’ve been amazed at how many young men and women walk right up to us and ask for prayer; we’ve even seen over 20 in an hour. Some are believers in Jesus and others are not. We’ve had students who recently lost grandparents, are struggling with relationships, school’s been tough, etc., who are thrilled we’re willing to pray with them. We use it as a way for them to encounter Jesus, let Him meet their needs and open up conversations about Him. About a week ago, I went out with a couple guys and we prayed with 6 students. We met up with two of these students afterward to go through a book we use to disciple and let folks experience Jesus!
So, give it a try! Offer prayer to your co-workers, family, friends, those in Walmart or at soccer practice. You’ll probably be surprised by how many are not only willing but overwhelmingly thankful you’ve taken time to pray with them. God will move in power as He loves them more than you do! So, pray in faith and expect results; He’s a really good Father.
We’ve also seen the power of intentionally going to the same place(s) every week so we can get to know people. It’s amazing how many folks we meet literally every time we hang out in the Student Union or Quad at MTSU. If we want to reach people for Jesus, we have to go places where there are those who don’t know Him, but I’m sure we all do. Think about the check-out person at the grocery store, or the young lady who makes your cup of coffee at Starbucks. Next time you go in, ask for their name, write it down and intentionally go back to them next time. They’ll be surprised you care about them enough to know their name. Let it lead to deeper conversations as you return regularly.
There’s much more I could talk about here, and I’ll continue writing to help empower us all to reach this world for Jesus! If you’d like help, and would like to see it modeled, we’d love to go with you! So, send us an email and we’ll do it! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and Justin’s is email@example.com. We can’t wait to hear from you.